Do tablet prices need to drop?
There is no denying that tablet computers are among the most head-turning technologies at the moment. But despite their huge popularity, actual ownership remains relatively low, suggesting that something needs to change in the market to push the devices into the mainstream.
One of these changes could very well be cost. Until recently, $499 was the standard price for a tablet computer, set by Apple® and its market-leading iPad®. Several other manufacturers have released their own tablets with similar price tags, but few have truly succeeded so far.
Now, however, several lower-priced tablets have emerged and demonstrated that they can be competitive in an ever-growing market. These devices are capturing the attention of people who may have been priced out of the more expensive tablet models, and are allowing a wider audience to get its hands on the technology.
This may be key to keeping tablet growth strong. Until now, tablet users have tended to be wealthier individuals, but the emergence of lower-cost tablets could prove huge for expanding the technology's ownership.
Research firm Gartner estimates more than 63 million tablets will ship in 2012, up from 17.6 million in 2011. The popularity of more affordable devices will be instrumental in this growth.